Bite Sized Reviews: 500 Days of Summer; Rapture-palooza
In continuation of the BiTe SiZed reviews I’m upping the ante and will from here on out include at least two recent films per post (maybe more if it’s been a good month). This time around, we take a look at yet another peculiar combination of films/genres — starting with Marc Webb’s un-Spiderman-like conduct as he directs a highly intriguing romance called 500 Days of Summer; and the second being probably the third or fourth worst film I may have ever seen, Rapture-palooza. . . which unfortunately features Craig Robinson. With multiple movies making the page, I’m going to also change up the format a little. If you’d like to have your say and guest review, I’d love to have you. Hesitate no longer to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Facebook. All the cool kids are on that site so just look me up. Aright, I think I’ve already stated all of this before, so shall we get on with it, then?
500 Days of Summer
7 Things I Liked
- The director. Knowing that the guy who directed the (in my humble opinion) brilliant remake of Spider-man was also behind this unique love story is sometimes a concept that’s difficult to grasp. The two films couldn’t be more different, and for that I applaud him.
- The story. Even though at times the nonlinear structure might get confusing, as long as you’re paying relatively close attention, everything unfolds very interestingly. Getting a perspective from the beginning of their relationship and juxtaposing those feelings against what it was like towards the end of it was an interesting approach which served to make their unusual relationship feel more fully-realized.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This guy can seriously do no wrong apparently. He’s again different here, as a young gun who’s uncertain about his job, uncertain about his future, and a little more than awkward around a certain girl. Yet another interesting character for me to study in the JGL School of Awesome.
- The fact that Tom (JGL) works at a greeting card company.
- Clark Gregg is just a really, really likable actor. No matter in how small of a capacity. Here, he’s reduced to the role of a greeting card company manager — a guy named Vance.
- The “I quit my lousy job” scene. I wish it could’ve gone down like that with my previous jobs. . .
- The editing/cinematography was absolutely breathtaking. Gorgeous, creative and storybook-esque cuts between scenes really gave the film a unique feel, a decent pace and a perpetually captivating mood and story. Job well done, guys.
5 Things I Disliked (contains spoilers)
- Zooey Deschanel’s character being such a flaky girlfriend. Is she officially his, or is she not? Is she sleeping around or is this perfectly casual, acceptable behavior? She drove me up the wall at times.
- *** THIS IS A SERIOUS SPOILER SO LOOK AWAY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING!! *** The park bench scene late in the movie. Post-break-up life is not exactly a fun experience. . . and this moment truly captured the pain, the affected mood, and the sense that everything is going to be completely different “without you.” It was brilliantly done, but it dredged up painful memories, which is not the film’s fault.
- Chloe Grace Moretz as Tom’s apparently sole confidant. But. . .she was like 10 years old. This didn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know why Tom couldn’t have confided in his friends more.
- The names of Tom’s girlfriends. Summer was one thing. But the fact that he would later bump into a woman named Autumn? Can someone say, “cheesy?”
- Architecture. Not really. I just simply can’t think of another element that I didn’t like with this movie, because honestly, there wasn’t much to even it-pick about here. This is a very strong romantic comedy. Probably one of the better ones I’ve ever watched.
1 Thing I Would Have Done Differently
I. . . . I really am at a loss for words here. This movie was almost perfect. *Almost.* But I suppose if there is that ONE thing I would have tweaked it would have been something to do with the editing. Even though the film played out a lot like how a storybook might unfold as you’re reading it, the fanciness of the editing became a thing unto itself and was at times a little distracting. A minor complaint though. But I had to find one to satisfy this requirement. So there.
Recommendation: 500 Days of Summer is a unique take on relationships. And by unique, of course, I mean brutally honest. Anyone interested in seeing something other than your standard Happily Ever After relationship flick will be blissfully enraptured by this at-times confusing, awkward affair. Personally, I was not expecting most of the events that occur in this film, and that’s a really, really good thing. A must-see if you haven’t already.
Running Time: 95 mins.
5 Things I Liked
- Craig Robinson being cast as Satan. Excuse me — “The Beast.” This sounds like it would yield some jokes, right?
- The blood-rain.
- The jacuzzi scene. You’ll have to watch to find out what I mean there. It’s absolutely hilarious. And that’s the only hint I’ll give.
- Anna Kendrick. She’s just cute. She’s not exactly good here but she’s still eye candy.
- Rob Corddry getting smacked-down by a shovel, courtesy of John Francis Daley.
7 Things I Disliked
- The fact that I and several stoned friends could write a superior script. Good Lord. . . – no pun intended.
- The freaking talking locusts. What the hell were these things all about? I mean, they were meant to be a gimmick but my goodness, they were completely annoying. . .
- How annoying Robinson’s version of Satan ends up becoming. The man usually is funny as all get-out, but here he really begins to wear down one’s patience with his excessive vulgarity and stupid lines. It’s all meant to be in fun, but it doesn’t work well.
- How apparent it is that the director has absolutely no idea what to do with the talented cast he’s been given. Everyone here is SOOO underutilized it’s disgusting.
- The amount of potential wasted. The plot is extremely funny sounding but in execution, the movie couldn’t be further from that.
- I’m baffled as to why Craig Robinson would choose to star in this film when he stars in a far superior, much more successful, borderline-classic film also regarding the end of days. It’s a little film called This Is The End, which was released five days after Rapture-palooza. Obviously release dates don’t indicate that Robinson made simultaneous commitments to both films, but he committed to both over some period of time. So why didn’t he just pick the better of the two films? The reason (a cash grab) is probably more conspicuous than that mustard-yellow jacket.
- Virtually everything about this film, minus maybe a few moments where we see Anna Kendrick.
1 Thing I Would Have Done Differently
Hired an entirely different, more obscure cast so as to not damage the reputations of any of those involved. Or at least, director Paul Middleditch wouldn’t have to feel guilty about tainting B or C-list actor’s resumes with a stinker film like this. There’s nothing really funny about the way he chooses to go about this story whatsoever. If I had it my way, I would’ve gone full-on terrible and hired completely incompetent actors who would’ve blended much better with the terrible material. Instead, all we feel is sorry for all those involved here. Even Rob Huebel.
Recommendation: Meh……I hate to say it, but although it does star comedic talent like Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel. . . .and that dude who played Mitch in Waiting. . .oh yeah, John Francis Daley — this film is simply way too dumb and illogical and hurried to recommend in any capacity at all. This is really $1.21 I can never get back from RedBox.
Running Time: 85 mins.